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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series)
Leigh Bardugo
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Stephen King
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Trevor Noah
Colonel Roosevelt
Edmund Morris
Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
Tehlor Kay Mejia, Tristina Wright, Emery Lord, Andrea Cremer, Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotswood, Brandy Colbert, Robin Talley, Anna-Marie McLemore, Zoraida Córdova, Brenna Yovanoff, Nova Ren Suma, Shveta Thakrar, Kate Hart, Lindsay Smith

The Case for Not Writing Trilogies

The Case for Jamie (Charlotte Holmes Novel) - Brittany Cavallaro

I should have skipped this, but I was hoping that maybe, just maybe Cavallaro could pivot this series. With talk of a fourth book coming out I wanted something interesting out there in the world of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson. Instead this Young Adult pastiche in the world of Sherlock Holmes is lacking across the board. We somehow have no development of Charlotte and Jamie, there are no real deductions to be made, we still have Charlotte and Jamie in a toxic friendship and we get to see Jamie's father in his own messed up relationship with a Holmes. 


"The Case for Jamie" is the third book in the Charlotte Holmes series. Told in first person points of view by Jamie and Charlotte this time you have back and forth chapters with the not dynamic duo before they finally get to confront another Moriarty.  


Jamie is feeling lost and angry after the events of "The Last of August". He is rightfully over the Holmes family and a year later is settled back in school with a girlfriend. FYI, Jamie treats his girlfriend appallingly and at this point I am wondering if he is a undercover MRA or what. There is no there there this time. Jamie is asked to help find Charlotte by his uncle and father because reasons. I am thinking they are alluding to the fact that Jamie is in love or was in love with her or something. Instead of Jamie actually pushing back on this BS he does eventually get involved and becomes a suspect (again) when a series of pranks goes on.

Charlotte and her POV chapters were pretty freaking soulless. I hate her entire family. I know these people are mythical and all, but when Charlotte recounts being told her mother was disappointed that she was raped cause she thought Charlotte could handle herself better, her brother making excuses about how nothing is his fault, and her father is just an absent asshole. There is nothing interesting about the Holmes besides all of them seem to be devoid of feelings. Charlotte is focused on keeping Jamie safe (again) and tracking down another Moriarty. 


There is nothing to say about the secondary characters. They are not well developed at all. I didn't like Jamie's father and started to hate Charlotte's uncle. There seemed to be some repercussions for Jamie's father at the end of the book, and once again Jamie barely seems to care.


I honestly felt for August's family. He was a good person who had his life ruined because he romantically rejected Charlotte. Then her brother killed him. He is mentioned multiple times throughout this book, but I felt like no one really gave a damn he was dead and should not be. 


The writing was okay, the flow was slow. I think this book was hampered by having alternating chapters between Jamie and Charlotte. Charlotte just recaps things in her chapters that readers should already know about.

The ending was whatever. We have Jamie and Charlotte reunited again and I just don't care enough to read if there is a fourth book. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Case for Jamie (Charlotte Holmes Novel) - Brittany Cavallaro

Not good.

Reading progress update: I've read 25%.

The Case for Jamie (Charlotte Holmes Novel) - Brittany Cavallaro

Trying not to laugh about the fact my Kindle just shit off due to low battery. Maybe it’s even tired of me reading bad books. This is not really bad per se, it’s just boring. The POV’s or Jamie and Charlotte, so each chapter alternates between them.


It’s been at least a year plus since the events in the last book and we do have Jamie back at school wanting nothing to do with the Holmes family and Charlotte on the tail of Lucien Moriarty.

TBR Thursday*: June 14, 2018

Reading (7 books):


Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & WitchcraftThe Case for Jamie (Charlotte Holmes #3)ItBorn a Crime: Stories from a South Afri…

Colonel RooseveltWe Were Eight Years in Power: An American TragedyWonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)



Going to Read (26):



As You WishAn American MarriageAdulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps

Their Eyes Were Watching GodBeloved The Hollow Man

Why Didn't They Ask Evans?Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins, #1)Strangers on a TrainPostern of Fate (Tommy and Tuppence #5)

The Sittaford MysteryOrdeal by InnocenceN or M? (Tommy and Tuppence, #3)Cover image for The Hazel Wood

Title details for Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins - Wait list Cover image for Aru Shah and the End of TimeCover image for FledglingCover image for Parable of the Talents

Cover image for Leah on the OffbeatCover image for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Read (4 books):


 Come Sundown by Nora RobertsOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManusWhat to Say Next by Julie BuxbaumThe Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick


This was not a great read week for me. I caught a summer cold and was laid up all day yesterday just taking meds. I am at work right now feeling hot and stuffy. Ugh. 


My TBR is 33 books which is weird. I realized that I haven't added that many books to my to read pile. I am going to focus on clearing up a few things via my interlibrary loans and just polishing off my physical books through the summer on top of finishing my two lists. 


*TBR Thursday is the brainchild of my partner in crime, Moonlight Reader. 

Beyond Bored

The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

I don't have much to say here. This book took me almost three days to get through because that's how boring it was. Taking place in the 1930s, I was expecting to see some language/slang from that era. You don't get that at all and just have a woman on the run (who decides to reinvent herself as a reporter) and a former magician (yeah I know) getting caught up in murder and mayhem.


Irene (formerly Anna) is pulled into investigating when a woman turns up dead in Burning Cove, CA. The woman is found dead at an exclusive hotel run by Oliver Ward. Oliver is angry that someone dared to murder someone on his grounds. Irene is hoping for a story that is going to launch her career. 


Irene and Oliver felt like cardboard cutouts when compared to Quick's Regency heroines and heroes. We get I think one love scene with them and I think after that everything is just a fade to black type thing. I don't even get why they were attracted to each other. Oliver being an ex-magician should have been more interesting than what we got. 


There are also too many secondary characters to keep track of while reading this book. You have Nick Tremayne (up and coming Hollywood actor), his assistant, Irene's boss, a hired killer, the hired killer's father, Oliver's close associates (who I refuse to look up) and at a certain point I ceased to care about keeping people straight in my head.


The writing was not typical 1930s. I was hoping for a screwball comedy type writing (think His Girl Friday) or some typical noir mystery book that would have fit in perfectly.


The pacing was awful from beginning to end. When you think one mystery is over, the second mystery jumps in and it goes back and forth. I still don't know what happened and who did what to who except in one of the plot-lines. Maybe that was the issue, we had too much going on in the first book in this series.


Burning Cove, CA is the setting of this book and it did not come to life to me at all. You would think there would be some hint of the Great Depression or the second World War. The whole book felt weirdly out of touch with the time period being depicted.


Hard pass. 

Not a Bad Message....Think Needed More Polish

What To Say Next - Julie Buxbaum

So I have to say that I at first was pretty delighted with this book. I loved the two leads, we have David and Kit and the circumstances surrounding them that have them developing a friendship and something more. Then, we start to have some problematic things happening such as David's sister telling him to make sure that Kit doesn't put him in the friend zone. At this point we readers know that David doesn't even have any friends at school, so his sister should just be happy that he has made a new friend. We also get comments made about his clothes and hair and then his sister does a Pretty Woman style make-over and everyone thinks he is hot. There are some problematic adults in this one too (David's parents, his guitar teacher, the school principal, and Kit's mom and her "Uncle Jack."). Buxbaum also left some loose threads dangling in the end which I don't know if she thought things had been resolved sufficiently or what. 


"What to Say Next" is about David and Kit. Both are teens going to Mapleview High who don't feel a part of things for different reasons.


Kit is a biracial teen (her mother is Indian and her father is white) who is dealing with losing her father in a car accident. She doesn't feel as if she fits with her two best friends anymore and resents that everyone just seems to want her to return to who she was before her father died. She sits with David at lunch one day since she figured that he would be quiet and not talk to her. Instead, an unlikely friendship blooms between these two. 


David is a high functioning autistic teenage boy who has no friends if you don't count his sister Miney and his parents. He likes Kit for a lot of reasons and his notebook that he uses to remind him of things has a lot about Kit in there. When Kit and he start to talk to each other more and more, he starts to hope that they are friends. When things turn out to possibly be more romantic, a few things pop up to get in the way.


I really did enjoy Kit and David. Buxbaum did a good job of showing both of their POVs in their chapters. She kept both voices authentic. I have a few relatives who are autistic and I think she did a good job with some of the comments that David makes. However, there were a few things that stuck out to me that sounded weird such as him saying that he can make eye contact which I went huh about. Both of my relatives make eye contact and like hugs and even like to sit near me on the couch while we discuss things. I think a few reviewers mention where Buxbaum got things wrong with regards to autism so I would read those reviews. 


The secondary characters were a bit problematic for me. First off, when you hear David describe his relationship with his sister Miney it sounded fantastic. You had someone that is in his corner and you find out later on why she wrote out a list of people never to be trusted (that whole story when revealed was heartbreaking) but she definitely needed to be brought into 2017 with understanding male/female friendships and how the friend zone is not a thing. I also hated her forcing David to have a makeover. I don't even get why David agreed to it since he says repeatedly he likes his clothes because they feel good against his skin. The stuff she bought (except for the cashmere) sounded like it was harsh. And when you have Kit's POV mentioning she know gets why David used to dress the way he did prior to his makeover (he wore similar clothes to his dad) I wish that David or his sister had made a comment about that. It just felt weird how we were getting reveals about the other person in the other person's POV chapter. 


David's parents sounded interesting, but they did something sneaky that I didn't approve of (no spoilers) which sounded like they didn't even have to discuss later with David which is a bit outrageous to me. I also question whether David's father is autistic, it sounded like he may be based on descriptions, but Buxbaum doesn't come right out and say it and it's just left hanging there. 


Kit's mother and her father seemed sketched out and not fully developed. Same with her "Uncle Jack." We get some reveals happening, I just wish that Buxbaum had set it up differently. 


The bullies in this school sounded sadly familiar. I was pretty disgusted though with the school principal in this one. I don't know if the dialogue and mindset is realistic or not. I hope not, cause if someone acted and said this crap to me I would be suing and also possibly lifting up a desk to put it on top of the person.


The writing was good and I thought the flow worked too. I wasn't bored while reading. 

The setting takes place mostly at the high school with Kit and David's home/rooms featuring pretty heavily too. 


I thought the ending was good, but once again I don't know if it was realistic or not. I don't want to spoil, but there is pretty big bump that I don't know if it would have been possibly to get over in real life. And I think that not all of the threads were wrapped up. 

Reading progress update: I've read 30%.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

This is so freaking boring. Reading Quick set in modern times in America is not doing a thing for me at all.


Things just keep happening to Irene (fleeing, finding a dead body, etc.) and there seems to be very little set up for the plot at this point. Just stuff happening. I had a hard time keeping people straight at this point.


I also don't get why Irene would go work for a gossip columnist in order to keep a low profile from someone that could hurt her. I am still confused why this is a thing.


FYI, I am guessing this book takes place in the 1920s or 1930s cause of the terms and slang being used. It would have been helpful if Quick had used a location and year to set up the first part of the book. She at least does that in her regency romances. 





Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

What To Say Next - Julie Buxbaum

The book flails at certain points. There’s a certain point where I think the author doesn’t want to make it seem as if David has to change for others, but he has a makeover which causes everyone to see him as different as which had me booing.


I loved Kit and David, but some of the secondary characters (David’s sister) kind of sucked. I did love Kit’s two best friends who I wish we got to spend more time with.


I also hated some of the scenes. For example one scene we get with the school principal who talks about bullying and doesn’t defend David. At least his parents are not having it.


Will have to think on the rating some more.

Reading progress update: I've read 38%.

What To Say Next - Julie Buxbaum

His sister gave him a make over to help him be hot. Gah. What is this book?? Miney supposedly cares about her brother, but seems awfully fixated on him looking and acting like everyone else (being normal). The whole thing is offensive. 


Kit also finds out a devastating secret about her parents.

Book Stuffing, Bribery and Bullying: The Self-Publishing Problem Plaguing Amazon

Check out the link below:




I know that a lot of us here have been talking about this. Very interesting read. 

Source: http://www.pajiba.com/think_pieces/book-stuffing-bribery-and-bullying-the-selfpublishing-problem-plaguing-amazon.php

Reading progress update: I've read 34%.

What To Say Next - Julie Buxbaum

Ugh. It's official, I don't like David's sister. She just told him to be careful about being put in the friend zone by Kit. She's a freaking teen girl, if she was a teen boy maybe I would buy this nonsense coming out of her mouth. But she's a young woman and should know that the friend zone isn't a freaking thing. 

Reading progress update: I've read 30%.

What To Say Next - Julie Buxbaum

Eh. I am not loving David's sister Miney. She's kind of an asshole. She popped up from college and when David makes a comment that Kit is the prettiest girl at his school she goes, eh she's cute enough. Also she is coaching her brother through asking Kit out. It's weird. He seems content with being friends. 

Compelling Read, Think that Author Chose a Softer Ending Which Didn't Work

One of Us Is Lying - Karen  M. McManus

Oh the majority of this book was so freaking good! I loved the description of this being "The Breakfast Club Meets Pretty Little Liars." The ending though ruined what came before (IMHO). I think that the author wanted things wrapped up neatly with HEAs, it just didn't make much sense since this whole book had a kind of dark comedy aspect to it at times. I loved all of the characters, the writing, the flow, etc. 


"One of Us is Lying" is about four high schoolers (Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper) who witness one of their fellow classmates (Simon) die from an allergic reaction. Things become tense around school though when it appears based on anonymous social media postings that one of the four that were in the room had reasons for wanting Simon dead. When the police and news media descend on the teens, they end up trying to figure out who wanted Simon dead and how they managed to do it. 


What I thought was cleverly done is that McManus has these teen archetypes in this book. Bronwyn is the brain, Addy is the attractive popular girl, Nate is a criminal, and Cooper is a star athlete.  McManus slowly reveals each of these characters and why they had a secret that they would have been willing to kill Simon from revealing.


I did think though that due to the abundance of characters, that not everyone got equal weight in this story. My favorite character was honestly Addy. Her story-line was ridiculously good. I don't want to reveal too much, but Addy and her sister were pretty kick-ass in throughout this book. Too bad we probably will never get a sequel to this book starring these same characters. 

I have to say though I did despise Simon. We find out that he was a gossip and had a blog where he revealed secrets about everyone in his high school. I likened him to a younger Perez Hilton a few times. Simon is nasty and I am glad that some of the characters called out the hypocrisy of anyone out there trying to cry that Simon was a good kid. 

I did find it very realistic though for the police and others to be watching/reading social media and to take their cues from it. The characters in the book a few times even acknowledged how the media at one point is ready to attack them all and the next day cries out about abuse of power by the police. 


The writing was very good and McManus manages to ensure that all four characters have a distinct voice from each other. 

I loved the setting of a high school with everyone being on the top of the suspect list. I was enjoying reading and wondering who did it and why. 


I didn't like the ending though. It seemed way too far-fetched and I actually had to go back and re-read some things. 

Like the Room With Romance: Missing Heart That Most Roberts Romance Books Have

Come Sundown - Nora Roberts

What a weird book. Someone commented yesterday that this was like a Nora Roberts book if JD Robb wrote it, and it's true. Switching back and forth between a woman who was abducted, raped, and forced to give birth multiple times over with the romance portion of the book did not gel well with me at all. I also think this book was overly long (we get way too many descriptions about how to run a ranch, about horses, etc.) and I thought that the ending wasn't very well thought out in my opinion. It made no sense and made me scratch my head for a bit. 


"Come Sundown" is about the Bodine/Longbow family. A highly successful family who all love each other and work at the family ranch/resort they are going about their day to day lives when an old family friend returns to the area. When he shows back up, women start turning up murdered. And in between wondering who is murdering these women, a long lost relative of the Bodine family's reappears. 


One of the main characters, Bodine Longbow (named Bodine for her mother's side of the family) runs her family's ranch and resort in Montana. She has two brothers (Chase and Rory). When one of her local horse guides ends up not being able to work, she decides to hire an old family friend, Callen Skinner. Of course Bodine and Callen (Cal) start to fall for each other. While that is all going on, Bodine's brothers start romances of their own. When women start showing up murdered though, a local deputy starts to circle in on Cal thinking he must have something to do with it. And when Bodine's Aunt Alice is found 25 years after she left home, her story about being abducted and raped repeatedly has the family doing what it can to keep her safe from a man that she rightfully fears. 


I liked the character of Bodine okay. She definitely knew how to do her job. I will say that it made no sense that she was put in charge of the family business though at her age. I don't think that Roberts tells us how old anyone is really in this book, but I hazarded a guess there. I discussed the age/timeline thing further down below.


I am also going to say that Bodine's romance with Cal didn't ring true at all. They had absolutely no chemistry with each other. If anything, it would have made more sense for these two to just be friends. Maybe a deputy or someone else could have been the one to romance Bodine. 


I didn't find the other romances that her brothers had in this book to be believable either. I just don't think Roberts had enough "room" so to speak to include all of these people and make you think that they all somehow found true love at the same time. It's typical Roberts though, she does love her 6 couples in most of her romance books, so I don't know why I was surprised at Bodine/Cal, Chase/Jessica, and Rory/Chelsea. Also I didn't need dialogue between Jessica and Bodine with Jessica telling Bodine how great her brother was in bed. I think that happened. I maybe went la, la, la at some point. The three women and men don't really make sense to me in a friendship type of way either. There is a terrible scene where they all show up to watch Cal fight someone (yes that happened) and at that point I wondered why I was reading this mess. 

There are other characters in this one. Alice and her story was heartbreaking. I really think that Roberts should have made this two separate books. Maybe the main reason that I couldn't get into the romance was reading about the things done to Alice in the past and then seeing her struggle so much in the future. And it was weird how Roberts showed her being selfish in the present and the two sisters fighting. I don't know, everyone acted like it was normal and I thought once again it was odd.

We hear about Sir (the man who abducted Alice) but you are able to put two and two together and realize who must have been behind abducting and killing the other women in this story. 


The writing was just okay in this one. I think the biggest issue is that the majority of the book is taken up about business and the day to day running of the ranch. You get that broken up with descriptions of what Alice had to endure. So you get present events mixed up with past events and I still have to wonder how old some of the characters were in this book since we find out that Alice was abducted 25 years ago. Does that mean that Bodine is somehow running a ranch and being a highly successful businesswoman in her early 20s? She's not the oldest member of the siblings so I had to hard pause at that point and do some math and then just gave up. After reading the JD Robb books for many years, I am just resigned to the face that Roberts doesn't pay much attention to dates/timelines. 


The flow was not good at all. The first 1/3 of this book drags. The 2/3 picks up a bit, but the final 1/3 of the book drags again until the very end when all is revealed in a ham-fisted way. 


The setting of Montana is one that Roberts has written about before. I was curious about this book, since I initially thought it may be a sequel to Montana Sky. Of course it's not a sequel, but the character of Willa in that book reminded me of Bodine a lot. 

The ending goes from murderous rampage and death to a happily ever after that still felt weird to me. I wonder if the book would have worked better if we had Chase/Jessica as the main romantic leads or what. 

Reading progress update: I've read 23%.

What To Say Next - Julie Buxbaum

Liking the two leads in this one: Kit and David.


Kit is dealing with the loss of her father a month before the events in this book. She feels separate from her two best friends at school and doesn't know how to be in a world without her father. She starts sitting with David at lunch because she figures he won't talk to her.

David is a highly functioning autistic 16 year old. There are only a few things that he likes in this world, and one of them is Kit. David is initially surprised that Kit sits with him at lunch, but now they seem to be starting a friendship of sorts. 


I think Buxbaum is doing a great thing with showcasing his language (my cousin's son is highly functioning too and speaks just like this) and I like how she has David slowly joining things at school.  

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Come Sundown - Nora Roberts

Hmmm this read as Nora Roberts version of “Room”.  It was okay, not great. The romance took a while to get going and reading about that in between passages of an abducted woman and the rapes and beatings she had to endure was a lot.